Cindy Sherman - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, November 15, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin
    Private Collection, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Cindy Sherman, July 9 – October 4, 1987 (another example exhibited)
    Milan, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea di Milano, Cindy Sherman, October 4 – November 4, 1990 (another example exhibited)
    Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Cindy Sherman: Film Stills, March 15 – June 25, 1995 (another example exhibited)
    Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Cindy Sherman, March 10 – May 19, 1996; Madrid, Palacio de Velázquez, Parque del Retiro Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, July 8 – September 22, 1996; Bilbao, Sala de Exposiciones REKALDE, October 15 – December 1, 1996; Baden-Baden, Staatliche Kunsthalle, January 19 – March 23, 1997 (another example exhibited)
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Cindy Sherman: Untitled Film Stills, June 26 – September 2, 1997 (another example exhibited)
    Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cindy Sherman: Retrospective, November 2, 1997 – February 1, 1998; Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, February 28 – May 31, 1998; Prague, Galerie Rudofinum, June 25 – August 23, 1998; London, Barbican Art Gallery, September 10 – December 13, 1998; Bordeaux, CAPC Musée d’art Contemporain, February 6 – April 25, 1999; Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, June 4 – August 29, 1999; Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, October 1, 1999 – January 2, 2000 (another example exhibited)
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Cindy Sherman: Untitled Film Stills, June 26 – September 2, 1997 (another example exhibited)
    Paris, Jeu de Paume, Cindy Sherman, May 16 – September 3, 2006; Kunsthaus Bregenz, November 25, 2006 – January 14, 2007; Humlebaek, Louisiana Museum of Art, February 9 – May 13, 2007; Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, June 15 – September 10, 2007 (another example exhibited)
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Cindy Sherman, February 26 – June 11, 2012 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    A. C. Danto, Cindy Sherman: Untitled Film Stills, Munich 1990 (illustrated)
    R. Krauss, Cindy Sherman 1975-1993, New York, 1993, pp. 62-63 (illustrated)
    P.D. Rosenzweig, Cindy Sherman: Film Stills, Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, 1995 (illustrated)
    Z. Felix and M. Schwander, Cindy Sherman: Photographic Work 1975-1995, London, 1995, (illustrated)
    A. Cruz, A. Jones and E. Smith, Cindy Sherman: Retrospective, New York, 1997 (illustrated)
    D. Frankel, ed., Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills, New York, 2003, pp. 102-103 (illustrated)
    R. Durand, Cindy Sherman, Paris, Jeu de Paume, 2006, p. 244 (illustrated)
    E. Respini, Cindy Sherman, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 2012, p. 107 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills, made between 1977 and 1980, comprises the most formative and groundbreaking work of contemporary photography. This cohesive body of work poignantly provides a catalogue of seemingly made-to-order female archetypes. By assuming the different roles, largely culled from 1950s and 1960s film, B-movies, or European art house cinema, Sherman cleverly comments on the clichés women had been traditionally relegated to in cinema. By intentionally using developing techniques to slightly alter the film in this series, Sherman lends the images the antiqued and nostalgic quality of classic movies. The subjects of each still are meant to evoke sufficient familiarity to lure viewers into deciphering the ‘type’ of woman portrayed and her surrounding story.

    The Film Stills present the viewer with a variety of characters that are not only familiar, but also cleverly spark our own interpretation and narrative. Untitled Film Still #53, 1980, shows a young girl in an unidentifiable interior. She embodies the quintessence of youth and innocent beauty; her hair appears soft and modestly coiffed off her face to reveal perfect features. Her lips are sweetly rouged, her cheeks are blushed, and her eyebrows, dramatically darkened, giving way to a severe gaze directed towards the right. Her demure silken shirt offers a stark contrast to the mature application of makeup. She seems to be eyeing something or someone. The single source of light in the background creates a glow around the central subject, who appears angelic with a halo of luminescence around her. Her innocence is undeniable; however, her all-knowing and intense gaze suggests a maturity much more advanced than initially thought. We seem to have come upon her in a solitary, contemplative moment; she is unguarded and vulnerable as she becomes subjected to perhaps more than just our voyeuristic gaze.

  • Artist Biography

    Cindy Sherman

    American • 1954

    Seminal to the Pictures Generation as well as contemporary photography and performance art, Cindy Sherman is a powerhouse art practitioner.  Wily and beguiling, Sherman's signature mode of art making involves transforming herself into a litany of characters, historical and fictional, that cross the lines of gender and culture. She startled contemporary art when, in 1977, she published a series of untitled film stills.

    Through mise-en-scène​ and movie-like make-up and costume, Sherman treats each photograph as a portrait, though never one of herself. She embodies her characters even if only for the image itself. Presenting subversion through mimicry, against tableaus of mass media and image-based messages of pop culture, Sherman takes on both art history and the art world.

    Though a shape-shifter, Sherman has become an art world celebrity in her own right. The subject of solo retrospectives across the world, including a blockbuster showing at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and a frequent exhibitor at the Venice Biennale among other biennials, Sherman holds an inextricable place in contemporary art history.

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Untitled Film Still #53

gelatin silver print
6 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. (16.5 x 24.1 cm)
Signed, numbered, and dated "Cindy Sherman, 1980, 1/10" on the reverse. This work is number one from an edition of ten.

$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $314,500

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

15 November 2012
New York